TOP REAL ESTATE AGENT IN CALIFORNIA MICHAEL CARTER
Benefiting from a lifetime of local connections and an almost encyclopedic knowledge of Los Angeles’ Westside, Michael Carter is clearly a player with a hometown advantage. When he waxes nostalgic (“every time I go out to lunch here, I run into five or six people I grew up with”) his genuine affection for the place is readily apparent. That this hometown happens to be iconic Beverly Hills, one of the more exclusive and upscale real estate markets in the United States, seems almost irrelevant.
Top Real Estate Agent in California Michael Carter, a true Beverly Hills scion (he is the son of renowned entertainer and comedian Jack Carter and actress Paula Stewart), has been fascinated by the real estate business for as long as he can remember, having watched his parents parlay their success in the entertainment industry into equally successful second careers in the real estate field. After attending Beverly Hills High School, he graduated from UCLA with a degree in Business Administration. After initially pursuing a career as an actor, he went on to launch a successful advertising and manufacturing company that currently supplies promotional and retail products to the automotive industry on a national level. Realizing that he still craved an outlet for his more creative side, he obtained his agent’s license in 2006 and joined Keller Williams Realty.
Michael adheres firmly to the adage “knowledge equals power,” and credits much of his success to his commitment to expanding his range of expertise. “I’m constantly taking classes, going to seminars, reading articles and asking questions. You can never know everything in this business but you can certainly do your best to try.” Michael praises Keller Williams for being at the forefront of industry technology and for offering classes on a daily basis. “The landscape and technology of real estate is changing every day and you need to be ahead of the curve to really take advantage. The more I know, the better equipped I am to serve my clients.” Anticipating a client’s questions and having an answer ready is important to Michael, and he makes a point of staying abreast daily on the important statistics for the areas he is working. “People look to you as the expert in your field and expect you to know more than they do.” Above all else, he believes that an agent must know the inventory, and makes it a point to see as many homes as possible each week, mapping and strategizing how to do so most effectively. “If I’m not hosting an open house, I’m out looking at properties. There is nothing worse than a client telling you about a property that you should already have seen or known about,” says Michael. Service with a focus on detail is Michael’s ultimate goal and he prides himself on putting client’s needs above all else, noting that “when I do this, everything falls into place.”
An admitted perfectionist, he is involved with almost every detail—even down to making sure a property is described accurately and choosing the best photos to use. He readily admits it often means more work for him, but he aims to make the transaction as smooth and easy as possible for his clients. “I approach each and every deal as if it were my own and my clients appreciate the extra effort and personal involvement, and in the process I gain both their confidence and trust.”
Michael attributes much of his success to his skill at dealing with people and being able to adapt to a wide range of personalities. “An agent has to wear many hats to be successful: friend, advisor, confidant, even therapist at times. You have to be skilled at knowing what, when and how to say something. Attitudes, insecurities and misunderstandings can all kill deals and you have to be an expert at reading people, anticipating problems and smoothing out the landscape so that focus can remain on the big picture.” He understands that the process of buying or selling a home can be stressful for a client, and is committed to being “the foundation of support that they can rely on to guide them through the process and to help them make decisions that, in the end, will satisfy their needs.”
In addition to traditional marketing, Michael has two strategies for growing his business. The first is socializing, and utilizing the connections he has made growing up in Los Angeles to his advantage. “No one gets business sitting at home. I make it a point to attend events and functions where I know I will run into people and talk real estate. The second is staying in touch with past clients. Michael understands that real estate is all about relationships and their cultivation. Crediting ninety percent of his business to referrals, Michael says “I make it a point to stay in contact with them on a consistent basis long after the transaction had been consummated, even if it’s just to let them know about a great new restaurant or to share an interesting article with them. People are appreciative when you think of them and they remember. I want my clients to think of me as a lifetime resource or “go to” person whenever they have needs or questions that are real estate related.”
Despite a celebrity-studded client list, he is quick to stress that for him, it is not about the money. “I love what I do. I get up every morning knowing that I am making a difference in people’s lives and I am an integral part of taking them to that next level.” Michael advises his clients to “live exceptionally,” and his thriving career and growing family (he and wife Victoria are expecting twins) are testament to his own adherence to that philosophy.